USPS on Track to Cut Energy Use by 30%

by | May 12, 2010

The U.S. Postal Service has set goals to reduce energy use 30 percent by 2015, petroleum fuel use 20 percent by 2015 and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 20 percent by 2020, according the federal agency’s 2009 annual report on sustainability performance.

The agency reports it is on track to meet its goal to reduce energy intensity (energy use per square foot) 30 percent by 2015. The agency currently has a 21 percent reduction.

In October last year, USPS voluntarily conducted an inventory of its GHG emissions to establish a baseline for future annual evaluations.

In 2009, the Postal Service reduced its total facility and vehicle energy use by 9 percent, and increased its alternative fuel use by 26 percent.

The agency is testing several different types of alternate fuel vehicles. As examples, in New York City, USPS has 30 electric 2-ton vehicles on the road and two 2-ton hybrid electric vehicles. Facilities in Washington, D.C. and Irvine, Calif., are each testing one new Chevy Equinox hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The Postal Service also has upgraded more than 100 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to operate in Texas.

In 2009, Postal Service employees reduced the amount of municipal solid waste generated by 7 percent compared to 2008. They also increased the amount of recycled or reused electronics by 73 percent.

The Postal Service also increased its online transactions in 2009 by 13 percent, which saved their customers’ fuel and time, while reducing carbon emissions. The service has also saved 10 million sheets of paper through online initiatives by human resources.

The Postal Service has cut facility energy use by 10.8 trillion British thermal units (Btu) since 2005 through several energy-efficiency projects. These efforts also resulted in cost savings. The agency has reduced energy costs by $400 million since 2007 and saved $314 million by cutting contracted transportation fuel use.

In 2010, the Postal Service is spending $29 million to make its facilities on the East Coast more energy efficient as part of the agency’s goal to reduce energy use.

All agency facilities have implemented several energy-saving projects that were identified during facility auditing. Projects include energy-efficient lighting and lighting controls systems, dock door seal replacement, mechanical system controls upgrades, energy-efficient chillers, and air compressors with control system.

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